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Synopsis: The Way of Arachnea, a spider-worshipping cult, has made their final preparations to go to The Garden to join their goddess in eternal bliss. When Lydia challenges the leader’s authority, she’s met with shame and humiliation. That night, she’s visited by a spider demon who offers her revenge. Should she sacrifice the promise of bliss for the promise of power over her abuser?



Run Time

11 minutes


Kelly Curran ("Lydia")
Juan Abdias ("Cult Leader")
Kristen Henley ("Bella")
Laith Wallschleger ("Voice of Lupus Arachnea")

Directed by

Rylan Rafferty

Produced by

Rylan Rafferty
Brendan Walsh
Catherine McCoy


Becky Baihui Chen

Director's Statement

My favorite kind of horrors are the ones based in reality. Not that I don’t love a good supernatural effect, horrifying monster, or delightful gore, but when horror reflects humanity at its worst–those are the stories that stick with me long after I’ve finished the entire tub of popcorn (don’t judge). “Playing with Spiders” takes the idea of trust and spins it around. Knowing who to trust in a crisis is difficult, like when it comes to making life-changing decisions about whether to drink the poison with your fellow cult members, or unwittingly replacing one abuser with another. We explore this to the extreme in our short film.

Director's Bio

Rylan Rafferty loves horror and comedy–even more when combined. She’s a director and writer; and has edited shows for Disney, Showtime, TBS, and TruTV and assisted on projects for Netflix, IFC, and Adult Swim. She was nominated for an LA Area Emmy Award for Best Informational Series as a Segment Producer. A short film that she wrote/directed/produced, a comedy/horror titled “The Happy Go-Lucky Sunshine Twins,” screened at the Denver Film Festival. She directed four films for the 48 Hour Film Project, winning a Best Writing award. She’s won 5 screenplay awards including finalist at the Screencraft Comedy Competition and Fresh Voices. Rylan currently lassos the humors and horrors of Los Angeles life into her creative projects–between laser pointer time and kibbles with her two athletic kitties.

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